1. to obtain, to attain a goal.
(a) to steal (from).
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: I Made this Knife at a heat, c. I Stole it cleverly.|
|New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|Proc. Old Bailey 23 Feb. 92/1: We went to her to sell the Parson’s Scarf. She asked us when we made it.|
|Life and Character of Moll King 12: I heard she made a Fam To-night, a Rum one, with Dainty Dasies.|
|New Dict. Cant (1795).|
|Dict. Sl. and Cant.|
|Modern Flash Dict.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 6/2: Of course, when they got to the station-house, every ‘poke’ that was ‘made’ that day as out to their account.|
|Dick Temple I 286: Ten or twelve pounds per week! There are hundreds of London thieves [...] who do not ‘make’ twice as many shillings.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Aug. 11/4: Having taken the precaution to lock the door in order to avoid interruption, she was about to tell his reverence a lot of things – possibly, among others, how many silk dresses she had ‘made’ out of the till during the last quarter – when her husband came thundering at the door.|
|Confessions of a Detective 202: Then I made a swell in a boozing ken.|
|You Can’t Win (2000) 14: At twenty-five I was an expert house burglar, a nighttime prowler, carefully choosing only the best home [...] I ‘made’ them in the small hours of the night, always under arms.|
|AS XI:2 123/2: To make. […] 3. For someone to rob an addict of his supply of dope.‘Argot of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 1 in|
|Monkey On My Back (1954) 45: He met another cat he knew and they had done some making (stealing from parked cars).|
|Down These Mean Streets (1970) 75: Once inside the store we decided we may as well make the whole scene—cigarettes, candy, the cash register, everything.|
|Killing Time 223: It was a rehash of a clinic I had made back in the fifties.|
|(con. 1940s) Addicts Who Survived 89: That’s when a lot of drugstore and hospital burglaries started coming into play. I made croakers, too. I even stole a few scrips.|
(b) to promote, to make successful, usu. as made.
|Peter Simple (1911) 337: I expect that [...] Mr. O’Brien is made, and commands this craft.|
|Confessions of a Detective 67: There aren’t so many retired Captains of Detectives, d’ye see, and they ‘made me’.|
|Broadway Melody 8: That is precisely how songs are ‘made’.|
(c) (US, also make on) to seduce, to have sexual intercourse with.
|Honest Whore Pt 1 I viii: It was more easie for him in one night to make fifty queanes, then to make one of them honest againe in fifty yeares.|
|[||A Novella IV ii: Shee was his own Church-sure before I left ’em, / And he has made her Cock-sure, sir by this time, / Or else he is a Bungler].|
|Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 194: He had hopes of making the lady.|
|Indoor Sports 7 Mar. [synd. cartoon] He’s tryin to make the broad and they won’t introduce him.|
|Fighting Blood 28: I got to be made a fool of like this in front of a girl I’m crazy about and a guy that’s trying to make her!|
|Iron Man 96: She even tried to make me, and I’m no beauty as you can see.|
|Farewell, My Lovely (1949) 219: Them rich dames are easier to make than paper dolls.|
|On The Road (1972) 71: I tried everything in the books to make a girl.|
|Flat 4 King’s Cross (1966) 123: I got the reputation for being very exclusive, and I heard that men even laid bets as to whether they could ‘make’ me; or not.|
|Late Emancipation of Jerry Stover (1982) 19: He liked her and had half-heartedly tried to make her at the last Christmas party.|
|Inner City Hoodlum 80: Especially when there was a new bitch to be made.|
|In La-La Land We Trust (1999) 5: She was self-made, she often said, For sure, no man had ever made her.|
|Love Is a Racket 246: Why would I want to try to make you?|
|(con. 1990s) in One of the Guys 156: ‘She got a nice little face and body [...] He was trying to make on her’.|
|Planet Sex Stories [Internet] We both laughed, and from that time on I knew I was gonna make my first chick. It was only a matter of time.‘Burning Down the House’|
(d) (US) to succeed in getting something; usu. constr. with for, e.g. make a croaker for a reader, to persuade a doctor to write a prescription for narcotics; make for a stash, to steal the drugs another addict has hidden so as to use them oneself.
|TAD Lex. (1993) 21: She and I were sitting there making love see — and I’m just goin to make her for the coin.in Zwilling|
|Let Tomorrow Come 153: An’ ’is mouthpiece makes ’im for the iron and lays ’im flat.|
|AS XI:2 124/1: make. [...] 5. To obtain drugs from a physician [...] To make a croaker for a reader. To persuade a physician, by one means or another, to write a prescription for narcotics.‘Argot of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 1 in|
|Junkie (1966) 22: Roy finally [...] made the doctor for a ten-grain script.|
|Delinquency, Crime, and Social Process 824: A pill freak [...] is more likely to divert his conning ability to ‘making a croaker’ (physician) by simulating bodily illnesses, depression, or severe headaches.|
|Requiem for a Dream (1987) 39: Youre makin a croaker for speed.|
|(con. 1940s–60s) Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1998) 128: He knew a couple of people who were keeping up habits making croakers.‘Ed Leary’ in|
|(con. 1930s–60s) Guilty of Everything (1998) 257: Bill, I think that drugstore could be made.|
(e) (US Und.) in weaker form of sense 1d above, to entice the potential victim of a confidence trick.
|Man’s Grim Justice 38: I’ve got an old John nibbling [...] Stall away for five minutes until I make him.|
(f) to attain a goal, e.g. make the team, make a club.
|Plastic Age 11: If you’re a runner you ought to make a fraternity easy.|
|Spanish Blood (1946) 77: Yours was the only bedroom he couldn’t make?‘The King in Yellow’ in|
|letter 27 Feb. in Leader (2000) 271: Bruce and I were very thick at one time; dropped his old friends, of course, when he made Covent Garden.|
|Shame the Devil 22: You ain’t gonna make that yellow, partner.|
(g) (US) to consume drugs or drink.
|Somewhere There’s Music 18: Baby and I made two of those pills.|
|Sound 11: I can’t make lush at all, baby.|
|Diet of Treacle (2008) 101: ‘I don’t like . . . pot.’ [...] ‘How do you know? You never made it, baby.’.|
(h) (US) to make a drug purchase.
|Drugs from A to Z (1970) 155: make [...] (2) to purchase drugs from a peddler, as in ‘I tried to make him for some junk’.|
|Bk of Jargon 342: make: To purchase (drugs). (‘I just made some downs.’).|
2. (US) to consider, to regard, to estimate as, e.g. I make it about 10 o’clock.
|Midshipman 62: ‘Sail ho!’ [...] ‘What do you make her?’ .|
|God’s Man 364: I made him for a State’s Evidence louse.|
|Home to Harlem 332: Haven’t made that theah burg yet.|
|Q&A 69: Shit, I can make a room with one suck of my eyeballs.|
|(con. 1970s) King Suckerman (1998) 209: Everyone makes him as the main triggerman.|
3. in senses of movement.
(a) (US) to go to, to arrive at, to attend, to pay a visit.
|Forayers 467: He will be for keeping this side, where he can soonest make Orangeburg.|
|John Brent 52: We have no time to lose, if we expect to make Missouri before winter.|
|A Slaver’s Adventures 24: The next day we made the island, and passed FIoreo Castle without the customary challenge.|
|Down the Line 30: Whenever he makes a town where there’s a pool room his expense account gets fat and beefy.|
|Nightmare Town (2001) 217: I was passin’ and spotted somebody makin’ your fire escape.‘The Second-Story Angel’|
|We Who Are About to Die 197: This is the first time in twenty years that I ever made a big joint.|
|Never Come Morning (1988) 83: He knew Casey had made the car because he’d heard him hit the running board as Finger wheeled it out of the alley.|
|Walk on the Wild Side 257: We went up on deck to watch the boat make the pier.|
|Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 178: You could sell a hundred dollars worth of cocaine if you made all the bars.|
|After Hours 36: I made the casino in the evenin’.|
|Vinnie Got Blown Away 19: Moved off through the other motors and made the street, Beaconsfield Road.|
|(con. 1964–8) Cold Six Thousand 15: She crossed Houston. Cars swerved by her. She made Dealey Plaza.|
(b) (Aus.) to leave.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Sept. 19/2: It took twenty minutes and a bottle of brandy before he knew whether he was an Irishman or a Cherokee, and on the first glimmer of returning life, we lifted our blueys and ’made.’ Mackenzie, the nigger, left earlier.|
(c) spec. use of sense 3a above, to catch, e.g. make a plane, make a train.
|Boston Transcript Aug. n.p.: He wanted to be awaked at 11.30 sharp, as he had to make a train.|
|Somewhere in Red Gap 24: I hurried home to get a bite to eat and dress and make the party.|
|Confessions of a Twentieth Century Hobo 70: She was a Limited passenger which would stop for a few minutes to take in oil and water. We decided to make her.|
|(ref. to 1890–1910) Early Canterbury Runs (1951) 386: Make [...] (of men) arrive at, get to; e.g., m. the station.|
|(con. 1986) Sweet Forever 38: Maybe you guys can still make the show.|
4. (orig. US police/Und.) in sense of SE make out, to discern, abbr. make an identification.
(a) to recognise (in a non-judicial context).
|Barkeep Stories 6: It was too late. The man [...] had ‘made’ him.|
|‘Silk Hat Harry’s Divorce Suit’ in Des Moines Register (IO) 29 Oct. 43: Did you make the new hanging bag?|
|Diet of Treacle (2008) 111: ‘You can call me Shank.’ ‘I never made that handle.’.|
|Old Scores [ebook] At some point during the day Mostel had made the tail.|
(b) to witness or observe, to recognize, to identify a suspect; thus make someone for, to recognize someone as.
|Confessions of a Detective 206: When I hears these sneaks scrambling at the fence to get away, I thought some bull had made us; and with that I legs it, too.|
|Ade’s Fables 43: An Expert would have Made her at a glance, but the Cub fell for the Scenery and Mechanical Effects.‘The New Fable of the Intermittent Fusser’ in|
|Let Tomorrow Come 40: He makes me doin’ it an’ I heave ’em at ’im an’ duck.|
|Red Wind (1946) 56: We make these two mugs.‘Red Wind’ in|
|Coll. Stories (1990) 146: They made him from the ‘wanted’ circular that had just come in and sent him back to be tried.‘Strictly Business’ in|
|Rap Sheet 123: I needn’t have worried, because I never was made on neither of them jobs.|
|Vice Trap 25: I went by them slowly, checking the numbers. Then I made the house.|
|Panic in Needle Park (1971) 154: Department cars are too easy to make—to spot.|
|Carlito’s Way 124: Even if the feds made the car [...] he can get away.|
|Wiseguy (2001) 18: It got so that I could always make a plainclothesman.|
|Finnegan’s Week 293: It’s too dark for them to make us.|
|Stingray Shuffle 202: ‘We’ve been made!’ said Serge [...] ‘To the hideout!’.|
|Winter of Frankie Machine (2007) 88: The boy has done some other work that, thank Saint Anthony, the feds didn’t make him for.|
|Cherry Pie [ebook] When Tony Torcasio had tutored us in PI school he’d always said if you got made, deny it, then get the fuck out of there.|
|The Force [ebook] The pit bull has made them.|
(c) to stop and search people on the street.
|Scene (1996) 9: Detectives Davis and Patterson, the Rollers, they made me.|
|Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) 158: He could probably make half the hoods and forty per cent of the bikies in this district.|
|Bonfire of the Vanities 420: ‘They claim they’ve got a witness who can—make the people who were at the scene. You follow me?’ ‘Make?’ ‘Identify ’em.’.|
|Homeboy 21: He couldn’t make a deathbed mug ID.|
(d) (US Und.) to prove someone guilty in court.
|Prison Sl. 18: Bank also Make To prove someone guilty of committing a crime.|
5. (US) to understand or to empathize with.
|Mr. Jackson 170: ‘You understand me?’ ‘I make you [...] sure I do.’.|
|TAD Lex. (1993) 55: Come again I don’t make you.in Zwilling|
|Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 207: Now, you made me? Tomorrow, by the clock. Ma’s gotta have security or currency.‘One Touch of Art’ in|
|Lead With Your Left (1958) 40: I don’t make you all the time, Dave.|
|‘The Road Out of Axotle’ in Southern (1973) 105: ‘You make it, man,’ he said, handing me his billfold, ‘I can’t make these greaser.’.|
6. to appear in the newspaper.
|Sat. Rev. Lit. (US) 8 July 16/2: Frederick was unconscious of the drama that had made page 1 of the morning paper [DA].|
|Jungle Kids (1967) 11: I was just wonderin’ if we’d make the papers.‘First Offense’ in|
7. (US, mainly Southern) to distill liquor illegally.
|Blue Ridge Country 105: I’ve been makin’ all my life right here in these Dug Down Mountains alongside this clift.|
|Hall Collection Jake used to make up at the Spence Place. Him and George Cooper used to make up there.|
|Social Hist. Bourbon 113: ‘Is your father around, sonny?’ ‘Nope. Pap’s up thar makin’.’ ‘Makin’T’ You know-’shine.’.|
8. (US black) to straighten one’s hair.
|Dict. Afro-Amer. Sl. 79: Made: had one’s hair straightened (female).|
9. (US) to enlist someone as an official member of the US Mafia; usu. as made adj. (4)
|[||Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant II 40/2: Make [...] (Freemasons), to initiate].|
|(con. 1973) Johnny Porno 28: We could add a vowel your last name, get you made.|
10. (US) to bear or endure.
|Delinquent, The Hipster and The Square (1962) 35: I made those want ads for a week, man.|
|Corner (1998) 366: Fat Curt, for one, won’t make another winter out here.|
11. (US) to enjoy, to appreciate.
|This Week mag. 5 Apr. 13: It’s a kind of music I mostly can’t make.|
1. an injection of heroin.
|Ripping and Running 161: Make up – get-off (Inject heroin intravenously).|
2. the need to find more drugs.
|ONDCP Street Terms 14: Make up — Need to find more drugs.|
to identify, to connect to.
|Junkie (1966) 78: I would never have made Benny for junk.|
|One Night Stands (2008) 22: Somebody with a little more on the ball might have made him for a hustler in the Organization.‘Badger Game’ in|
|Close Pursuit (1988) 150: They see you talking to a bad guy — pow. Right away, they make you for association.|
|in Damon Runyon (1992) 131: He made Villa for a mass murderer.|
|Angel of Montague Street (2004) 43: Well, we never made you for it [i.e. a murder].|
(US) to pretend.
|Neon Wilderness (1986) 147: Doc wouldn’t even understand, even though Doc always made off like he did anyhow.|
to arrive at a conclusion; thus how do you make that out? how do you reach that conclusion?
|Game of Logic 93: ‘That lets me into a little fact about you, you know!’ ‘Why, how do you make that out? You never heard me play the organ?’ .|
|World of Graft 62: The Under World was afraid of him, could not make him out.|
|DN III:v 400: make out, v. 1. To deduce. ‘So far as I can make out, he is right.’.in ‘Word-List From Northwest Arkansas’ in|
|Right Ho, Jeeves 1: It simply raises its eyebrows and can’t make out what you’re talking about.|
|There Ain’t No Justice 141: ‘How’d you make that out?’ ‘How’d I make anything out.’.|
|You’re in the Racket, Too 58: If he’s as wide as I make him out to be from what you’ve told me he can deny the whole bleeding issue.|
|Sat. Night and Sun. Morning 118: I can never make you out.|
(US black) to flatter.
|(con. 1920s) USA (1966) 1026: Margo [...] acted the jealous bitch and started making over Cassidy to beat the cars.Big Money in|
|Seraph on the Suwanee (1995) 697: Kenny Meserve was a very lively child; everybody made over him.|
|Down in the Holler 155: Much is a transitive verb meaning to praise, to flatter. [...] Make over is often heard, with the same meaning.|
|‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2.|
1. to ‘make love to’, to ‘chat up’.
|(trans.) Voltaire’s Dram. Works II. 25: She ogles me still, or I’m mistaken; I’ll e’en make up to her [OED].|
|Sam Slick in England II 248: If Old Cran. was to slip off the handle, I think I should make up to her, for she [the daughter] is ‘a salt,’ [...] a most heavenly slice.|
|G’hals of N.Y. 91: If only he’d make up to Lize Burton; Lize is such a nice girl.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Sept. 11/1: Mr. Blake’s daughter caught Ebernezer’s glittering eye, and he ‘made up to her.’.|
|Bushranger’s Sweetheart 234: I [...] saw her make up to a sea captain.|
|Confessions of a Detective 240: He made up to the old fellow, and had a brief chat about wines.|
|Harry The Cockney 75: Cock Mayne has been making up to Fanny Simpson.|
|Islanders (1933) 132: I’d be makin’ up to ye myself, if I was as young as some of the boys.|
|Wide Boys Never Work (1938) 61: I saw you making up to her.|
|Poor Man’s Orange 38: That dirty old cow, always making up to kids. Only been out of boob a few weeks.|
|Shiralee 122: The silly cow, makin’ up to the tabbies and that.|
|Maori Girl 56: There she was, knocking them back, making up to all the boys.|
|A Little of What You Fancy (1985) 560: She was very near tempted to start making up to him herself.|
|On the Stroll 31: The way you been makin up to me and givin up rhythm, I thought sure we’d be spendin time together.|
|Constant Gardener 478: Did you make up to Ghita Pearson while you were dancing with her at Elena’s party, or not?|
2. to curry favour with.
|Adventures of Gil Blas vii. i. 32: They made up to Don Cæsar or his son at once, without currying my favour as the channel of all good graces.(trans.)|
|Below and On Top [Internet] Mrs. Petersen had shown no disposition to ‘make up to’ her neighbours’ wives and daughters, and consequently had the reputation of being ‘stuck up.’.‘A Vain Sacrifice’ in|
|Salvation of Jemmy Sl. I ii: Why don’t ya try and make up to ’em. Kid ’em along an’ get the coin.|
3. (US gay) of a lesbian, to be the active partner in lovemaking.
|Boots of Leather (2014) 206: ‘These studs, talking about how “I don’t take the sheet.” You know what I mean “don’t take the sheet,” don’t you? That mean a stud make up to a fem all the time, a few did not make up with a stud’.|
(orig. US) to use, to affect, to perform, to pose as.
|John Henry 66: All he has done since is cuddle down in a chair and tell people how to make fancy with the cue.|
|On Broadway 22 June [synd. col.] B . . . F . .z . .r making with the hips at La Conga.|
|Really the Blues 225: Maybe they were playing the ofay game of making-with-the-words.|
|Little Sister 112: Give with a little of the old trust and friendliness.|
|Naked Lunch (1968) 100: That Latah [...] make with the switcheroo.|
|Holy Smoke 14: Beat it [...] Make with the feet, sport – while you still got ’em!|
|Psychotic Reactions (1988) 231: First thing was they went up to their rooms [...] I began to make with the grouch squawks. [Ibid.] 234: He smokes a lot and when he gets really out there on it makes with cartoon non sequiturs that nobody else can fathom.in|
|Sat. Night at the Palace (1985) 36: You make with a couple of Rocco Burgers – I’ll forget about the five cents you owe me.|
|(con. 1940s) Hold Tight (1990) 100: You [...] make with the customers. I am losing money talking.|
|Vinnie Got Blown Away 89: He made with the kettle.|
SE in slang uses
a troublemaker; one who stirs up arguments; also attrib.
|[||Hye Wey to Spyttel House Ei: With eche one they fall out and make bate Causyng people them for to hate].|
|Irish Chronicle 293: He would punish him as a pikethank makebate.|
|Of Virgil his Æneis n.p.: Thow scuruye peasant, my wiefe th’hast, villen, abused. My bed defiled: lyke a breaklooue mak’bat adultrer.‘Of A Craking Cvtter’|
|Tell-Trothes New-Yeares Gift (1876) 17: As for make-bates, there was framed against them a bill.|
|Paraemiologia 54: A make-bate.|
|The Mushroom in Works (1709) II 371: How does the Market fail? when Lawreats With Pimping Rhimes are glad to turn Make-bates.|
|Dict. Canting Crew.|
|London Terraefilius IV 37: A Makebate, like a Witch, is always disquieting herself in doing other People Mischief.|
|London Standard 12 Feb. 4/2: The minister betrays the honour and interests of France, says the French make-bate.|
|Leeds Intelligencer 24 May 6/4: In such a position the isolated individual must feel that he is regarded [...] as a make-bate.|
|Dublin Eve. Mail 5 Mar. 2/3: The small statesman who wrote ‘No Popery’ on the wall and then ran away, is very likely to [...] retreat from his position of common make-bate.|
|Shields Daily Gaz. 7 July 3/5: He becomes a Radical member of Parrliament. He becomes not merely a make-bate and a firebrand [...] He descends to [...] false witness.|
1. a small candle.
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
2. a small, slender person.
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
see also under relevant n. or adj.
|Letters by an Odd Boy 163: Why, if my feelings being altogether too much for me — and I think the best way is to ‘make a die of it ‘— why should I be said to ‘kick the bucket?|
|AS XI:3 199: Made a die of it.‘American Euphemisms for Dying’ in|
to get drunk.
|Proverbs (2nd edn) 87: Proverbiall Periphrases of one drunk. He’s disguised [...] He has made an example.|
see under busk n.
(US teen) to get married.
|‘The Mighty Hip Einie’ [lyrics] on Lord Buckley: A Most Immaculately Hip Aristocrat (1999) [album] Now ready, really ready, he looked around / and finally zeroed in on a real fly chick, / made the legal move with her, / rang the chapel bells of joy, / and out, come swung out of this beauty spin, / came two little Mars-heads, a boy and a girl, you see.|
|Catalog of Cool [Internet] (to) make the legal move (verb): Get married. Einstein, says Lord Buckley, found his woman, ‘made the legal move, rang the bells and out of this union were born two swingin’ Marsheads.’.|